Art & Artists

Spanish Police Recover Stolen Francis Bacon Painting Worth $5.4 Million

May 28, 2024 at 15:27
DALL·E 2024-05-28 17.27.06 - An image depicting Spanish police recovering a stolen painting worth $5.4 million. The scene shows the painting, a portrait of a Spanish banker, being.webp
Lucian Freud's portrait of the Spanish banker José Capelo, worth more than $5 million, was recovered by Spanish police.

Spanish police have successfully recovered a Francis Bacon painting valued at $5.4 million. The painting, a portrait of Spanish banker José Capelo by Lucian Freud, is one of five portraits of Capelo stolen nine years ago in what is considered the largest art heist in Spanish history. Collectively, these paintings are worth €25 million ($27.1 million).

Three of the five stolen paintings were recovered in 2017, and since the theft, authorities have arrested 16 individuals, including the alleged mastermind behind the crime. Efforts to locate the remaining missing artwork are ongoing.

“Investigations are continuing to locate the remaining work and arrest those in possession of it, with the focus on Spanish nationals with links to organized groups from Eastern Europe,” Spanish police stated.

Francis Bacon is renowned as one of the most influential painters of the 20th century. His works have fetched significant sums at auction. Notably, his triptych "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" (1969) sold for over $142 million at Christie’s New York in 2013, making it the most expensive painting ever sold at that time. More recently, Bacon’s "Portrait of George Dyer Crouching" (1966) sold for $27.7 million at Sotheby’s New York in May of last year.